NWCA All Star Classic
By the numbers, here’s a breakdown of the 20 wrestlers’ high school states who are hitting the mat tomorrow at the NMCA all star classic:
PA-5, OH-3, MO-2, IN, IL, MI, ND, NJ, NY, OR, SD & VA-1.
The original line up would have given PA 1 more representative. 6 of the wrestlers are returning National Champions (Gutches-NAIA). Not 1 kid in this line up went to high school in Iowa?
125 #1Alan Water vs. #4 Joey Dance-Both wrestlers have a lot to prove. Waters took a red shirt last year trying to get over the hump and become a national champion. His redshirt season didn’t provide a signature win. Did he get to the next level? Dance had a good freshman season (29-10) but caught fire at nationals in the consolation bracket losing to Nico Megaludis in the 3rd place match. I think that last year’s run will give Dance some mental growth and he’ll win close against Waters.
133 #1 AJ Schoop vs. Mason Beckman-They have wrestled several times since high school and they are close to 50/50 in those matches. Schoop was 4th and Beckman was 6th last year. I’m going with Beckman by 3 points.
141 Logan Stieber vs. Mitchell Port- Stieber is trying to become the latest 4x champ. Post looks to be his stiffest competition this season. On paper the match doesn’t look close, Port lost well before Stieber dominated Devin Carter in the finals. The biggest question here is did Port grow enough as a wrestler over the summer and does he find a better strategy to win against the best that college wrestling has to offer this year? Stieber wins with a major decision.
149 Jason Tsirtsis vs. Josh Kindig-Both of these guys peaked at the NCAA last year, way out performing their seeds in an inconstant weight class. This is a repeat of last year’s finals, Tsirtsis won in Sudden Victory. Tsirtsis was the #1 overall recruit coming out of high school 2 years ago. Does the run last year give him the mental confidence to set up his game and domination of the weight class? This year 149 looks much tougher with the addition of H. Stieber and Devin Carter. Back to the match. Kindig has been streaky and inconsistent. I’d like the PA guy to win but I see Tsirtsis opening up the margin of victory this year.
157 #2 James Green vs. Ian Miller-Dylan Ness knocked both these guys out of the NCAA tourney last year, A come from behind pin of Green and a 6-4 victory over Miller. Green majored Miller for 3rd place after they both worked through the consolation bracket, both have lots of heart. Green has the skill to be the NCAA champ, I thought that he’d win last year. He’s got the best workout partner in the country in Jordan Burroughs. Burroughs has been busy with competition and injury recovery but I’m sure Burroughs has spent a lot of time on the mat and in Green’s mind over the last year. I see Green scoring bonus points.
165 #1 Alex Dieringer vs. #2 Nick Sulzer – Dieringer the returning champ is moving up a weight class. Sulzer placed #4 last year at 165. Dieringer majored a super strong Dylan Ness in the finals last year moving up should be a problem. I’m not sure Dieringer will open it up but I see a major decision at this weight class.
174 #2 Robert Kokesh vs. #1 (NAIA) Brock Gutches-How does a #4 finisher from last year stack up against a former D1 (Boise State) now a 3x NAIA champ from Southern Oregon University. Gutches has a pedigree, Les is his cousin, but does he see the competition necessary to prepare from the challenge of Kokesh. I think that like Kent State, it’s great that SOU is represented. Many parts of southern Oregon are hotbeds of high school wrestling and national exposure can only do good things for the sport. Maybe with the strong high school base U of O brings back a D1 program in the near future. I would like to see a close match but I think Kokesh wins by 7.
184 #1 Gabe Dean vs. #2 Jack Dechow-They had a close 5-4 match for 3rd place at last years NCAA’s. Dean came from behind to win. Dean wasn’t the highest of recruits coming out of high school (#73 overall) but Rob Koll has talked about the leap that he made while at Finger Lakes. Dean has an in your face style that is aggressive and tough but I f Dechow can repeat last year’s early match success he has a real chance. He slowed Dean down with his stance and angles. Dean has better work out partners so I’m giving him more growth than Dechow over the summer. Dean in a close one.
197#1 J’Den Cox vs. Scott Schiller- Returning champ Cox faces 3rd place Schiller in what could set the tone for a new champ. Cox is the first big guy true freshman to win a title. Schiller lost in a 2-1 TB to Nick Heflin in last years semi’s. Schiller and Cox have never met before but I think that Schiller is a tough match up for Cox style wise. If both guys have an open it up mind set this should be very entertaining. Schiller close.
285 #1 Ncik Gwiadowski vs. Mike McMullian- Gwiz is the returning national champ and beat returning champ Anthony Nelson to claim the title. McMullian won 6 matches in the wrestlebacks to claim 3rd, maybe just as impressive an accomplishment. These two are your normal 285 lbs, they are active and athletic and style wise they may be more like 184 lbers. I think that Gwiz is a tough takedown for McMullian and is mentally growing from his championship last season. Gwiz in an active but low scoring match.